Retired pastor pens sixth book/first novel

ESCANABA – Dr. Gary R. Shiplett’s latest book and first novel entitled “The Crystal Bell” has just been released by Infinity Press.

This is Shiplett’s sixth book and his first novel. It tells the story of Caleb Grant who overcomes a tragic life, thanks to a caring mentor and a wise pastor.

Throughout Caleb’s young life, he finds a piece of crystal each time he experiences a major crisis or loss. Then he dreams that if he could put the crystal pieces together to form a bell, he could give up on his painful life and return immediately to a previous immortal state in heaven. The dream sets him on a quest to restore the bell.

But was it a dream from heaven or a dream from hell?

What happens when he realizes that he no longer wants to quit his life and decides to abandon his quest to restore the bell? The unfinished crystal bell then turns to the dark side and hijacks his life. Will the bell destroy him, or will he find the strength and courage to destroy the bell?

Dr. Shiplett is a retired United Methodist pastor who served churches in Indiana, Florida, Illinois, and Michigan. He retired from Memorial UM Church in Gladstone and makes is home in Escanaba with his wife, Carol.

The author reports that he dreamed this novel. He dreamed the title, the characters, the plot, and the outcome.

“This has never happened to me before,” Shiplett said. That same morning he wrote a summary of the novel and the first three chapters before breakfast. “The Bible says, ‘your old men shall dream dreams.’ Now I share my dream with you.”

Shiplett holds a doctor’s degree in adult education and training from Indiana University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has taught at both the college and seminary levels and recently taught a seminar on the Second Temple at the Learning Center at Young Harris College in Georgia.

“The Crystal Bell” is available from and will soon be available from